Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

can anyone help me, i live in a country where its not allowed to put power back into the grid using grid tied inverters, However i did not know this until after i installed my 6kw power1 aurora inverter, i would like to know if there is a way i could prevent the power from feeding back to the grid as the utility company has installed a digital meter on my premises which registers in only 1 direction no matter what source the power is coming from. your response will be much appreciated.

thank you

Comments

  • BB.BB. Posts: 25,042Super Moderators admin
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    Matthew,

    Is there any easy you could work with local environmental groups, press, engineering school, government as a pilot/green demonstration project?

    People have asked about making gt systems for use where net metering is not allowed, but I have not seen any good way to "fix" the problem yet.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 6,409Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow
    can anyone help me, i live in a country where its not allowed to put power back into the grid using grid tied inverters, However i did not know this until after i installed my 6kw power1 aurora inverter, i would like to know if there is a way i could prevent the power from feeding back to the grid as the utility company has installed a digital meter on my premises which registers in only 1 direction no matter what source the power is coming from. your response will be much appreciated.

    thank you


    Sounds like you've got a SMART METER installed. You will have to regulate the use of your solar, to not feed any excess to the grid.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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  • john pjohn p Posts: 814Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    there is no good way to connect a GT system to grid where the power company wont pay you for excess power..
    Really they make no sense to use under those conditions, as in most cases you use more power at night than day. so most of the power you generate you not using and you are also being"charged" to generate what you dont use.. its a lose lose situation.
    and most likely he got little or no govt rebates to cover install cost:grr
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    Actually it sounds like he has a standard "dumb" meter, which will register flow in either direction as a positive reading on the meter (in other words, billable kw to the user).
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • XRingerXRinger Posts: 493Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    Are you using wind power to feed the inverter?

    I've heard of a few illegal PV/GTI hookups and I've wondered how it could be
    done with a digital electric meter (that charges you both ways).

    You could try controlling your loads, while the inverter is putting out power,
    so that you used about the same amount of power generated.
    Stopping your meter would be the best case, but making a little less or
    a little more than you were using would reduce your bill.

    A good load could be making hot water. In the winter, you could use
    that hot water for heat, as well as for washing.


    I seems to be possible to trick a GTI into thinking it's tied to the grid,
    when it's really just seeing another inverter.

    http://youtu.be/R9uK_mDFzmM
    I did some quick experiments with a cheap 1200w GTI and a 400w sinewave inverter.
    The sync wouldn't hold very long.. I plan to re-config and try it again soon.



    Or, you could sell the GTI and get a regular inverter.
  • stephendvstephendv Posts: 1,571Solar Expert
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    You could go for a semi-off grid setup with a SMA sunny island battery inverter and a small battery set. Since you'll have the grid available all the time, all the batteries should do it smooth out the difference between your production and consumption. So a set that only hold enough power for 12 hours -or even less- should be good enough.
    That way you can save some of the costs, because the batteries are one of the most expensive parts of an off-grid system.
  • SteveKSteveK Posts: 277Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    Timers do help here.

    Set your appliances on timers, washer at 10, dryer at 10:45, waterheater at 12, dishwasher later etc. Rest of the day float the batteries.

    We did this for a while but quickly ran out of dirty laundry and dishes...:cool: To stop the GT inverter another timer does the trick. When you switch off the GT the Off Grid inverter pick up the panels...
  • ggunnggunn Posts: 1,972Solar Expert
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow
    john p wrote: »
    there is no good way to connect a GT system to grid where the power company wont pay you for excess power..
    Really they make no sense to use under those conditions, as in most cases you use more power at night than day. so most of the power you generate you not using and you are also being"charged" to generate what you dont use.. its a lose lose situation.
    and most likely he got little or no govt rebates to cover install cost:grr
    It depends on what you mean by "pay you". In many utility co-ops here in Texas, the utility will never write you a check, but they allow the meter to run both directions at the same rate. If you produce more energy in a month than you use, the monthly meter reading is negative, so they won't charge you and the credit is rolled over into the next month. At the end of the year they zero it out, so if for the year you have produced more than you use, you lose the difference, so it's not worth it to install a system that will do that. Other than that, you get full retail value for every kWh you produce.
  • john pjohn p Posts: 814Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    ggun I think you missed the whole point.. he lives in a country NOT USA that gives NOTHING back no credits no anything.. so your point is no point in this case.. he is just paying the power company for everything he produces and doesnt use.. not a great idea . well i dont think it is mabe you do. and he got no rebates or tax breaks for the install either.. ROI ??????297 years and 2 months 1 week aprox
  • ggunnggunn Posts: 1,972Solar Expert
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow
    john p wrote: »
    ggun I think you missed the whole point.. he lives in a country NOT USA that gives NOTHING back no credits no anything.. so your point is no point in this case.. he is just paying the power company for everything he produces and doesnt use.. not a great idea . well i dont think it is mabe you do. and he got no rebates or tax breaks for the install either.. ROI ??????297 years and 2 months 1 week aprox
    I wasn't addressing his situation specifically but rather your assertion that "there is no good way to connect a GT system to grid where the power company wont pay you for excess power." I interpreted "excess power" to mean power you generate above what you use. Whether or not that is true depends on how the utility meters your account. If his utility only registers the meter running forward, as it appears from interpreting the OP's post, then that isn't ideal, of course, but whether or not it is worth it to him to install solar depends on the size of his loads and when they are active. If, for example, his loads are sufficient during the day to absorb all his array's output, then he will get full retail value for every kWh he produces.

    Installing residential solar with the idea of actually making money with it is never a good idea, IMO. There is generally a sharp point of diminishing returns when the output of your system reaches the amount of your usage averaged over a year's time.
  • russruss Posts: 593Solar Expert
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    From the OP it sounds like he pays for what he takes from the grid and also for what he provides to the grid - in some areas meters are set up like that.

    If so he really isn't interested in any export.

    The price of tea in China is - - -
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    bottom line, as was said before, is that he is fine as long as he uses the electric being produced for the moment he stops using it it becomes exported to the grid and he will then be charged for that power.

    many readers in other countries can't assume that they will get credit for what they excessively produce. it's tough enough at times for countries that are allowed to do it when you run into asinine power companies and inspectors alike.
  • XRingerXRinger Posts: 493Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    If someone is using 500w Continuously during the day light hours,
    and he had a 400w PV/GTI turned on, it seems like his both-way meter
    would register 100w..

    And,
    If someone is using 500w Continuously during the day light hours,
    and he had a 600w PV/GTI turned on, it seems like his both-way meter
    would still register 100w..

    If both of the above were true, then just about any GTI power should
    reduce the bill.. Unless the PV/GTI was making 2x (or more) than the consumed wattage.

    It sounds pretty easy to do. Just put an adjustable current sensor
    on your 220 AC/heat-pump line(etc), adjusted to turn on at 'N' Amps.
    Connect the sensor to control an SSR in the AC output of the GTI.

    The GTI only comes on, when your AC is really cranking.. :cool:
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    One solution for this type of meter is to use a xantrex xw inverter that is capable of load shaving. Just set the load shave to 0 amps and the inverter will keep the meter at a standstill. As long as the solar panels produce as much kwh as the home needs and the batteries can store enough power to meet the power needs overnight and you don't exceed the power output of the inverter then the meter will never move.
  • XRingerXRinger Posts: 493Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Grid tied system but utility will charge no matter direction of energy flow

    And of course, zero on the meter will automatically notify the Jamaican Secret Police to send a squad to the offender's home. ;)

    Or, maybe I'm thinking of L.A. ?? :p
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